We named the platform after Fridtjof Nansen who was an explorer, scientist, diplomat, and humanitarian.
Our core values for Nansen are:
And we think Fridtjof Nansen is a human embodiment of these values.
After years of working with blockchain data, we found that many of our clients wanted the same thing: to know more about the wallets that are transacting on-chain.
So we started building Nansen in 2019 to address this need, and have quickly become a leading provider of data and analytics for Ethereum.
We use a variety of methods to label wallets, including
.. and crucially the interplay between all of these sources.
More than 99% of our labels are algorithmically inferred.
We aim for extremely high precision, meaning we'd rather not label an address than label it incorrectly.
One key thing to realize is that there is a very strong network effect in adding wallet labels. If we know that wallet X is of type A, and wallet Y is of type B, then if wallet Z interacts with X and Y in a certain way, we can sometimes infer that Z is of type C.
The consequence is that every wallet label we add to our platform can help us infer even more wallet labels.
For the on-chain data itself, we rely heavily on the open source project Ethereum ETL. The main contributors to Ethereum ETL are members of the Nansen core team.
This is a common question, and the first thing to make clear is that we do not focus on personal individuals in our wallet labels.
One important source of data for Nansen is the blockchain itself. It's important to understand that blockchains are public and immutable. We have no control of what users decide to publish on them.
A relevant example is the Ethereum Name Service (ENS), which lets users purchase a human-readable name for their wallet (e.g. nansen.eth). When a wallet registers such a domain (or is involved in the transfer of one), this is recorded forever on the Ethereum blockchain. And since anyone with a computer and an internet connection can run an Ethereum node, the data point representing this transaction is openly available to the world.
Nansen includes information about ENS ownership of wallets (both past and present), and in some cases this might be revealing of an association between a private individual and a wallet.
So while we could remove data points potentially revealing personal identities from our platform, we think it's better that they're made aware that this information is already in the public domain - accessible to anyone.
We are committed to educating users of the privacy risks involved in using blockchains.
In some cases, project co-founders, advisors, and otherwise public figures have shared their addresses in the public domain (e.g. in transparency reports, or news articles). In these cases we might add wallet labels with their names, as the information is already in the public domain.